Women Are Being “Needle Spiked” with Rape Drugs
Women should not be forced to alter their behavior to deal with this new, disturbing risk. The onus is on bars, the police, and every single one of us.
The United Kingdom, over recent months, has witnessed a worrying increase in cases of women being injected with syringes of roofies at crowded night clubs and bars. Roofies, or Rohypnol, is a date rape drug that paralyzes the consumer. They become incapable of resisting, able to observe events but not move. Their memory is impaired, often to the point that they may have no recollection of what happened. The police are investigating dozens of reports of “needle spiking,” including 12 incidents in Nottinghamshire, a city with a large student population.
“If I didn’t think I could be shocked anymore, if I didn’t think the behavior could get any lower, this is a new depth,” Sue Fish, the former chief of Nottinghamshire Police, told New York Times.
A petition, started by 24-year-old Hannah Thomson, is now calling for compulsory searches at bars and nightclubs. “There are too many cases of weapons and ‘date rape’ drugs being used in clubs. It begs the question, why aren’t nightclubs required to do more to prevent harmful items making it into their clubs?” she writes in the description of the petition, which has now been signed by 170 000 people.
“The response has been so much bigger than I thought … And we’ve done it, just through the power of young girls,” Thomson told BBC.
19-year-old Sarah Buckle, who believes she was injected with the drug at a nightclub in Nottingham, said she suddenly became ill and unable to speak. Other guests took her to sit down, and she “couldn’t get up again.” After that, she remembers very little until waking up in hospital. She noticed a small pinprick on her hand, which later became surrounded by bruises. The experience left her feeling “vulnerable” and “violated”, she told BBC. “I’m confused by why this is going on, it’s terrifying. You can cover your drinks but how are you going to stop someone stabbing you?”